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Man knocks out basement wall to free plane he had been secretly building for years | Mail Online

January 4, 2012
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Most people use their basement for storage.

Dan Reeves built an airplane in his.

Mr Reeves, from Pennsylvania, has spent the last nine years building the two-seater aircraft in the basement of his house and on Wednesday he started the process of removing it – by knocking down a wall.

He told WGAL-TV that the plane arrived in pieces via mail which he carefully pieced together until it eventually became way too big to get up the steps.

So he dug a trench down into the foundation, took out the wall and pulled the plane out with the help of a truck, a chain and some neighbours.

He even held a ‘plane removal Wednesday’ party.

He told PennLive.com: ‘There were times when I thought I’ll never finish this thing, but the encouragement from my friends and family, that’s really what pulled me through.’

Mr Reeves believes it cost him $40,000 to $45,000 to build the plane, plus the $5,000 it cost to excavate down to his foundation, shore up the basement walls, jack up the house and knock a hole in the wall large enough to safely get the plane out.

If he bought the same plane it would probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, he said.

A lot of passersby stopped to have a look at what was happening and were amazed to see the aluminium fuselage appeared from a gaping hole in the basement wall.

Ryan Griffin said: ‘Low and behold there’s an airplane coming out of the basement. I wanted to see it. I’m an aeronautical guy. I love aviation.’

His 13-year-old son Steven helped his dad work on it for as long as he can remember and said he was very proud of his father.

He said: ‘I feel good. It just looks beautiful outside.’

His daughter Heather, 22, grew up with a dad who was building a plane in the basement. She helped with some of the riveting, and her smaller hands could get into close spaces easier than her dad could.

She said: ‘When I told my friends my dad was building an airplane, they thought, a little model. But no, a full-size airplane. People would look at you funny. They thought he was crazy, but fun. It was a good family thing.’

Mr Reeves will finish his plane in a hanger at Capital City Airport and will add the wings and do some detail work before flying it for the first time later this summer.

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